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"When did musketeers abandon musket rests?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

huevans01114 Apr 2024 7:37 a.m. PST

Pretty much what the title says.

When did musketeers abandon rests?

Was this because muskets started to be made lighter around that specific time?

Dexter Ward14 Apr 2024 8:23 a.m. PST

Towards the end of the thirty years war; rests were pretty much never used in the ECW. Not so much that muskets were lighter, more that the old distinction between the lighter arquebus and heavier musket went away. Better technology allowed lighter weapons with the longer range of the musket.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2024 9:04 a.m. PST

Indeed, the Dutch pattern musket was lighter and handier so rests were unnecessary. I think its safe to assume at the beginning of the ECW some troops could still have had old muskets, and used rests, but not all.

Korvessa14 Apr 2024 10:28 a.m. PST

Wasn't that one of Gustavus Adolphus' inpvations?
Or so I have read.

Silurian14 Apr 2024 10:44 a.m. PST

The ECW was definitely a transition period. Rests were still very much in use at the beginning of the war. For instance, from what records we have, the Parliament regiment of Col Langham received 711 muskets and 703 musket rests in 1643, and the Royalists received 1500 muskets with rests in 1644.
That being said, a notable London armourer stopped supplying rests before this, and there are no mention of rests at all in Parliamentarian contracts of 1645.

KeepYourPowderDry14 Apr 2024 11:39 a.m. PST

Silurian has pretty much nailed it for the English field armies. There is quite a bit of evidence of musketeers using rests in garrison throughout the wars and certainly into 1645. (Makes sense, keep the older heavier stuff that still works for garrison troops who are not having to march anywhere.) In addition there's a few incidences of Royalist 'orders' for rests into 1644 not just the one Silurian mentions; plus we know that they were being issued to troops in Oxford in the same year.

The old nugget of musketeers throwing their rests away is pure supposition, there's no evidence to prove it. Records tended to record unusual/out of the ordinary events soldiers throwing expensive equipment away would deserve a mention (once you have read several years worth of news books, county committee minutes you know that this would fit into the category of 'unusual') yet there's no mention.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2024 10:15 a.m. PST

Good to know gentlemen. My melange of musketeers will not have to be replaced!

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